Sri Lankan players sign central contract, Angelo Mathews misses out

With 18 players signing up, the months-long contract dispute between Sri Lanka Cricket and its national players has finally come to a conclusion. From August 1 through December 31, the new contracts will be in effect for five months. Six players were left out of the original 24 players offered contracts: Angelo Mathews, Danushka Gunathilaka, Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Mendis, Isuru Udana, and Kasun Rajitha.

The players were picked based on a list of criteria, including performance, fitness, leadership/seniority, professionalism/Code of Conduct, and future/adaptability, and were nominated by the selection panel. While Mathews’ omission was due to his inability to be selected, Gunathilaka, Dickwella, and Mendis had all been banned when the contracts were first proposed. Meanwhile, Udana has resigned from international cricket, while Rajitha’s absence is thought to be owing to a lack of game time as a result of a bad recent injury record.

The contracts, which included a lower basic wage and a number of performance-based bonuses, were first offered in May. The players, on the other hand, had unanimously opted against signing them because they were “unfair and non-transparent.”

The lack of openness surrounding the player-assessment mechanism, which had also resulted in numerous veteran players receiving considerable wage cuts, was a major source of their dissatisfaction. The new contract process, which was largely devised by director of cricket Tom Moody and SLC’s technical advisory committee, led by Aravinda de Silva, allegedly gave 50 percent weightage to performance since 2019, 20 percent to player fitness, and ten percent each to leadership, professionalism, future potential, and adaptability. The players, on the other hand, contended that none of them knew how well they did on these criteria and that their results should have been made public.

National contracts were awarded to the following players:

Dhananjaya De Silva, Kusal Perera, Dimuth Karunaratne, Suranga Lakmal, Dasun Shanaka, Wanindu Hasaranga, Lasith Embuldeniya, Pathum Nissanka, Lahiru Thirimanne, Dushmantha Chameera, Dinesh Chandimal, Lakshan Sandakan, Vishwa Fernando, Oshada Fernando, Ramesh Mendis, Lahiru Kumara, Ashen Bandara, Akila Dananjaya.